Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stumbled-upon Treasures

And, for my third post today (a personal record), I've just found a couple links that must be shared. The first is the Lord's Prayer recited adorably by a young lad:
And the second, on a slightly different tack, is stick person animation to one of my very favoritest (that would be all of them) Gaelic Storm songs:

They made me happy. I'm sharing the wealth. Enjoy!

celestial chuckles?

Are people who have reached enlightenment allowed to laugh? It sounds like such a solemn affair, but depictions of the Buddha always seem pretty jolly.

More in the Aethelflaed Chronicles

I had an adventure yesterday. I drove round Flaming Gorge, which is on the Green River (the river, not the town). The loop goes south from Green River, down into Utah and the Uinta Mountains, across Flaming Gorge Dam, and back up onto the high plains and to Rock Springs. I was gone about 8 hours. I think I could have done it in 4 if I had just drove, but what's the point in adventure if you don't stop once in awhile to have one? It really is incredible quite literally took my breath away, and then made me laugh and laugh, out of sheer awe, not knowing what else to do. It's called Flaming Gorge because of the bright red sand and rock formations down there, and the red rock, combined with blue sky, and green pine trees (and a very little bit of green grass!) and the grey of's just incredible. My first stop was by the Navajo Cliffs to eat my lunch of doritos, tortillas and hummus. There's a road that offshoots from the main loop called the Sheep Creek Geological Loop, so I took that. They had most of it blocked off, but I got probably 10 miles through the canyon before I had to turn. I parked at a picnic spot where the road was blocked off, and walked aways along the creek, then, spying a relatively decent looking peak nearby, decided to climb it. And realized a quarter of the way up that I'm either in worse shape than I thought I was, or it really wasn't such a decent peak at all, or that I'm not at all used to the altitude! But once you set out to climb a mountain, you really can't stop halfway up...because than why did you go through all the trouble to exhaust yourself, only to get halfway? So, with trembling legs, and trepidations as to whether I would be able to make it back down without rolling (!), I continued. Being on top was interesting. There was no panoramic vista of mountain upon mountain stretching out into the distance, just another, higher peak in front of me. Don't get me wrong, the view was spectacular. But it's a rather curious sensation for a prarie girl to stand on top of a mountain and just look. It's like gazing into the face of someone who's thoughts you know you can never fathom. You ponder it for awhile, but you can't do it forever, because we are, after all, tangible creatures, and we can't dwell in the intangible always, only visit.
Halfway back down the mountain, after noticing a strange lifting of my spirits, I came to the conclusion that God must have purposely made mountain tops to be cold, windy, desolate places, as well as majestic, to remind us that we weren't made to live on the heights...the hills, the valleys, the slopes of mountains are fine, but the tops are reserved for real majesty, such as humans aren't likely to achieve. Anyway, whatever you think of it, you should definitely try climbing in the mountains sometime, if you haven't. It's a humbling experience.
Driving back out of the valley, I met up with the namesake of the creek...a small herd of wild sheep were there grazing just on the opposite side of the road. I probably could have walked right up to them, but I'm not keen on getting attacked by wild sheep. They may look harmless, but I know better. Ever looked at a sheep or goat's eyes before? There's something slightly creepy there! Anyway, we stared at each other for awhile with equal amounts of curiousity, then went back to our respective to adventuring, the sheep to getting fat after a skinny winter. Passed an old homestead, with the dugout house still jutting out from the side of a hill, and the grave of the homesteader, who, the plaque said, was shot in self defense by an associate. It really is a "wild and woolly" place.
Drove around the rest of the Gorge, trying really hard not to stop every 5 minutes to take pictures, and only stopping every 10. I was attempting to get back before dark. Next time I'm just camping down there. Drove across the Dam, which is immense. Gavins Point Dam back home is impressive enough, but this...I can't imagine the force of the water that it's holding back.
On the east side of the Gorge, driving back up to Rock Springs, you get out of the Uintas and into the Red Creek Basin, which is RED, and up into the high plains. I understand better now what the term "high plains" means. It's strange having grasslands that are a couple thousand feet higher than the river bed...not mountains, but plains! plains broken by canyons, creeks, ridges, and ancient sand dunes, but plains nonetheless. I felt at home again. I love the mountains, but the plains are like coming home, even hundreds of miles away from my birthplace. It's funny, even in England I felt quite at home once I got away from the cities, and out into the farm country, the rolling hills and the grass.
I drove for a good hour through an area that had regularly posted signs reading "Open Range: Loose Stock." Meaning that you've been given fair warning, and if you hit a cow, it's your own fault, and you will be compensating it's owner. I saw more signs than I did stock. It's big country, they could have been hiding anywhere!
Made it back to Rock Springs by 7:30, almost sundown, then the short trip back to my temporary home in Green River. And that concludes this episode of the Aethelflaed Chronicles.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A lovely green

My graduation present from Curly Tom just came in the mail:

Nice, eh? And "A" for Aethelflaed!
But I think he may have made a mistake in making it for me, because now he's going to have to teach me how to do that when I get home! :D

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Latest News

In case you hadn't heard yet...

I'm coming home.

Should be back May 10.

I do love my Northshield.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

They Found Me!

My SCA persona is from the same time period, and may even have almost exactly the same name, as the woman they excavated from this cemetery in England. I'm so excited! I even emailed the guy doing the excavation to ask him about it, and already heard back from him. Why can't we have archaeology like that over here?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Longing for apathy

Have you ever tried very hard to convince yourself that you don't really care about something, when you know that you really do, just so that you can make it through the day without making yourself ill?

No matter how hard I try, I've never been able to do it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Extreme Croquet

I've learned about a wonderful new game. I have never played croquet before in my life, and I'm really glad, because it would probably be incredibly boring played properly. But when you play it in a yard that is full of divets, rocks, holes, bumps, lumps, corners, etc, it's incredibly entertaining. Not to mention, the course circles around the house from the back yard, to the front, instead of being laid out straight on a level lawn. It is most commonly played with a beer in one hand and mallet in the other; mallets being thrown through the air in frustration when the ball gets stuck in a hole is not uncommon. Followed by jumping up and down, yelling incomprehensibly. I'm told it's even more fun when camping in the mountains, and the wickets are placed on the sides of hills, behind rocks, next to's pure torture, so why is it so freakin' fun?!
First game of the year was last night, second was this afternoon. It's croquet season!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Welcome Addition to the Household

I have two new plants. We went to a co-worker and his wife's house last night for a house-warming party (we helped them move in a couple weeks ago). After profusely admiring her lovely plants, she gave me cuttings from two of them. One is a spider plant, the other is the kind that evidently looks like a philodendron, but isn't really a philodendron. I will call it a philodendron, not knowing the difference. :D They both sit on the kitchen table by the window; one in black currant jelly jar full of water; the other, in a pickled baby corn jar. I pull them out every few hours to check and see if they have sprouted. But not yet! I'll keep you updated. I'm very excited to have something living that needs to be taken care of again. I've named them Peace (the spider plant) and Hope (the not-so-philodendron) because after only 24 hours, they have already given me more of both. Funny what a houseplant can do for your morale, eh?